8/15/2012 10:34:00 AM
‘Private for profit’ was long held to be an ugly expression for those who supported public healthcare. A sense of fear permeated those who felt certain when dollars could only go so far, profit dollars would be paid first, patients would suffer. The concerns weren’t leveled at only initial care, nursing homes and extended care facilities; anywhere the care was paid for came under scrutiny. Proponents of private care shushed the naysayers. What could go wrong?? What indeed.
For 70 days residents of Revera have witnessed firsthand deterioration of services. Almost 80 LPNs, health care aids (which are?) and support staff walked out in the first week of June. Wages and Benefits are the stumbling block. Replacement workers no doubt tried their best to pick up the slack but without a lot of indoctrination what could they have known prior to going in. This was one of three walkouts in this type of facility this year?? Should we be concerned??
Many properties have seniors’ retirement facilities that get more and more ‘detailed’ as age and failure of health advance. But who governs these? In days gone by we ran these facilities, they were public and while they may not have offered Cadillac services, the number I have been in were lovely. We used to value our seniors, but now private enterprise has taken over. If they value our seniors, okay, but if dollars come before dignity, tough luck. In the case of Revera the government has finally stepped in and binding arbitration will come to pass.
As with private healthcare, the first dollar off the top must be for profit, otherwise why run any business. Cynics charge that’s what was happening in the three Edmonton facilities. It’s not wrong to want a profit, but if government dollars are flowing in do we have a right to set a standard of care?? So much has changed, but we owe our seniors a peaceful twilight, especially if they have moved into a fragile health position. We used to laugh at old guys eating mush, but if that is the standard now because it is the cheapest option, we need to have a conversation; but with who. Is anyone actually listening? It took the Redford Reds 70 days to get involved!!